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Style vs. Skill

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Style vs. Skill

Old 08-18-21, 01:27 PM
  #26  
Rdmonster69
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I pretty much ride alone and my Trek is old and a tad beat up with various used Dura Ace generations. My calipers were NOS so there is that.

I have a mix of clothing that screams discount.... I wear sweats with an ace bandage shin to ankle when it gets cold because ....you know ....aero.

I only feel fast and as a one man pace line I never get dropped except by e-bikes, hippies on single speeds or college kids on vintage rusty and squeeky 10 speeds.

Any new part I buy has to be seriously discounted such as my Easton carbon bar that I'm pretty sure is way undersized for me.

I guess I fit somewhere in the middle of that diagram and to be honest I'm too old and cranky to care. I am looking at new bikes tho so maybe my bike will start to get some style points.
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Old 08-18-21, 01:57 PM
  #27  
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Why should I care? I tend to hang around the folks into the same kind of riding I do. If there are subsets of those folks of the ones that care too much about how they are perceived, I let that be.

I wear my own race team's kit, it looks like I have steel rods in my calves, and I ride either a race roadie, my TT bike, or my cross bike. However that is perceived is whatever. I use them because they are what I race on and are the right tools for those tasks.

I drink beer after the ride with all range of folks from the C, B, and A or hammer rides. I don't care that a "C" rider has a tour level race bike. Good. Hope they have a big smile on their face and enjoy it! It's all about attitude, that dude can have a great attitude and be a better person to hang out with than the person who dressers like a sleeper but is super fast but tends to be an a-hole.

As for a "sleeper" getting away, not if the folks in the group know how to cover breaks and work as a team.

If I had to choose the only posers that concern me, it's the ones out trying to race around greenway MUP's for KOMs on Strava risking killing a child or dog to do so. I use these paths to bridge a mile or so of town to another and behave myself on them. This behavior to me just screams for desiring attention at your kewl factor to bag a greenway KOM.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I knew a guy, 19 or 20 years old. He wrestled in high school, then enlisted in the Air Force. Tried out and was selected to represent AF at a national wrestling competition involving all the military branches, and I think he did pretty well there. He heard about an amateur triathlon in Idaho and thought, "What the heck. I'll see if I'm any good at triathlon." He had to borrow a bike for it, and ended up with a department store mountain bike. I heard he did very well, just through pure athletic ability. The guy had a childlike innocence and humility, probably was aware but did not care that he was riding the junkiest bike in the race. Totally in it for the sport, not even 1% about looking cool. (...and so, in a sense, I bet he was the coolest guy there.)
At one of the little local tris I won there was a guy who swam and ran for UT. Lucky for me he had a crappy mountain bike at that point, because that's why I beat him. He was coming up behind like an express train when I finished.

Then he got a real bike for the next season and that was that. I'm sure I'll remember his name sometime tonight.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:20 PM
  #29  
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The OP confuses fashion with style. One can be bought, one cannot.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:21 PM
  #30  
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I'm with burnthesheep, I'll go smash pedals with about anyone and drink a beer after. Just don't overthink it and enjoy the ride. Everyone has a different budget and ability. And maybe after they ride a while, the budget/ability gap closes up a bit.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:36 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
The OP confuses fashion with style. One can be bought, one cannot.
Perhaps. I see them as roughly synonymous. Style is more enduring, whereas fashion changes each season. Both are superficial.

Style/fashion are completely different from quality. High quality items have intrinsic value, because of their utility. Items that are highly fashionable (or highly desirable only for their styling) have only extrinsic value.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:48 PM
  #32  
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Maybe change style to swagger.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:48 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Perhaps. I see them as roughly synonymous. Style is more enduring, whereas fashion changes each season. Both are superficial.

Style/fashion are completely different from quality. High quality items have intrinsic value, because of their utility. Items that are highly fashionable (or highly desirable only for their styling) have only extrinsic value.
You are equating style with spending money. I disagree.

You are also pretending to know people's subjective valuations of different items, which are unknowable to you. Most people have little understanding of their own motivations, much less others'.
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Old 08-18-21, 03:55 PM
  #34  
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I fancy myself in the top left. I'm an elite road racer and my team supplies me with my clothing and some of my other accessories if I race and volunteer enough during the season. No way I'm forking out premium $$$ for Rapha, Assos etc.

When I see people looking like they came out of a cycling clothing catalogue, my first instinct is that they are a poseur. Of course I've been around long enough to know that there are plenty of "skilled" cyclists that like that sort of thing, so I withhold final judgement until I get closer and get a good look at someone. I can tell more about them as a rider by the way they ride their bike, even a low cruising speeds. There are always "hidden savages" (as I like to put it) in layman's garb and baggy shorts that can put down some big watts for extended periods.

If I don't get something for free, you can find me in the bargain bin. I dig "the black bibs" for this reason and have worn through a few bibs. I need another pair actually.

The same applies to my equipment to a large extent, mostly heavily discounted, lent/borrowed from my team's shop sponsor to ride for a season, or bought from a buddy. Although I am putting together a new XC MTB from largely new OEM parts at the moment.

Bottom line is I agree with burnthesheep, bikes are cool (All bikes), riding is cool, I might think these things to myself but I won't let that prevent me from striking a conversation with whomever I encounter out on the road. Between road, TT, track, MTB, BMX (younger years) and street fixed gear/fixie riding (also younger years) I can talk shop with most riders and encourage anyone riding a bike. More ridership on a bigger/macro level is good for all of us. I usually smile and wave unless I'm in a bad mood or pissed for some other extenuating reason. If you wave at me - I'll always wave back!

Ironically it's the less experienced or lower category racing cyclists that tend to perpetuate the elitism and disdain that roadies are so known for in other cycling circles. They have the most to prove.
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Old 08-18-21, 04:25 PM
  #35  
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We've had some domestic pros on our local rides on bikes that were less fancy than you'd see at the Cat 5 Early Birds. Some would even have saddle bags and frame pumps (gasp!).
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Old 08-18-21, 08:46 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
In our group, the first guy to the top has a 7-speed steel bike, gravel tires, full fenders, and a 20 liter canvas saddle bag. It would have been cheating for him to bring his carbon bike. To climb with me, he has to stand because he doesn't have gears low enough to go that slow seated.
I know all about this.
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Old 08-18-21, 09:27 PM
  #37  
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I hardly ever notice what other riders are wearing, unless it's something really spiffy like a subdued wool jersey that isn't actually calling attention to itself.

Mostly I pay attention to their bike handling skills in a pack, pedaling style and how they climb. The two best I can think of offhand probably haven't bought any new kit in five years. One of them wears (stifled screaming here) s l e e v e l e s s jerseys.

I know a lot of guys who are styling that new kit, beasts on the flats, erratic as houseflies hovering over a cow pie, can't climb, don't call out actual road hazards, will ride you straight into traffic cones or barriers, and aren't to be trusted anywhere near me. But they sure can PR a 0.2 mile downhill segment on the MUP while threading between joggers.

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Old 08-19-21, 05:26 AM
  #38  
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:shrug:

Somewhere to the lower right of the spectrum, to be honest.

I like seeing a nice, clean bike and tidy kit, and I'll typically at least give a quick wipe to my bike before a group ride, and care for stylish kit (doesn't have to be expensive, as such, but I care about the look - I have three pairs of Decathlon road suits which look very sharp in white/black, much better than some premium kit).

As for ability - eh, I try to do better than the last year version of myself, but I'm realistically not going to reach the levels of some guys I know, in, well, ever. I'm hoping to reach 4W/kg for 20 minutes by the last few races I've got this year, and it's hard to balance both trying to shave off a couple of kilos (because frankly that's easier than gaining 10W) and training, and work and family, and it feels like a real uphill struggle. Then you see someone on Strava casually demolishing a climb at 5W/kg for 20 minutes and for them, it was Tuesday. Or get in a local race and finish somewhere in the middle. I don't think I could ever be actually good.

But I like looking sharp while riding. So I'm going to go on the lower right side of the graph

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Old 08-19-21, 05:55 AM
  #39  
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Biggest factor in garnering/losing respect:
thinking group rides are races that you can "win" or "break away from" or "drop people" and actively riding like such.

Then:
smoothness and predictability -> sprint/climbing prowess -> speed

Closely tied to/directly accompanied by:
silent, functioning bike -> top of the line anything that isn't silent or functioning -> anything with gatorskins

Followed by:
on time and prepared -> high maintenance (pee breaks, mechanical issues, store stops)

Maybe at the end:
Team kit -> any other kit (rarely notice a kit brand) -> sleeveless -> tshirt
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Old 08-19-21, 08:09 AM
  #40  
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Somewhere in here there should be a graph that shows which rider it is okay to wave at.
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Old 08-19-21, 09:29 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Biggest factor in garnering/losing respect:
thinking group rides are races that you can "win" or "break away from" or "drop people" and actively riding like such.

Then:
smoothness and predictability -> sprint/climbing prowess -> speed

Closely tied to/directly accompanied by:
silent, functioning bike -> top of the line anything that isn't silent or functioning -> anything with gatorskins

Followed by:
on time and prepared -> high maintenance (pee breaks, mechanical issues, store stops)

Maybe at the end:
Team kit -> any other kit (rarely notice a kit brand) -> sleeveless -> tshirt
Agree 100% but would add: Being helpful, friendly, cool > being a dick, picking fights with car drivers and expecting others to back your play
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Old 08-19-21, 09:34 AM
  #42  
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Looks like my sleeveless jersey, occasional cotton T or (Gasp) , my prized vintage Beavis and Butthead tank top are not stylish kit ?? I also wear a Camelback with the bladder removed and keep my pump in that spot and carry a few tools in it.

I think my style point are off the chain with my Beavis and Butthead tank top !! I can tell everyone is checking me out ....might be the tube sox too !!!
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Old 08-19-21, 10:40 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Agree 100% but would add: Being helpful, friendly, cool > being a dick, picking fights with car drivers and expecting others to back your play
In the words of Gryzzl's corporate motto, "Wouldn't it be tight if everyone was chill to each other?"
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Old 08-19-21, 10:45 AM
  #44  
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One huge misconception on poser status can also be folks who are thrifty. I often ride in summer now in a Castelli San Remo. I got tired of the bargain kit I had being loose and not wicking sweat and not being comfortable on the TT bike. I got a few of them, used. New they're over $200 each. Used, I got some in fine shape for like $40.

Same for my shoes. My Giro SLX's are expensive new. I bought both pairs I own where someone didn't like the fit and sold them used.

All my wheels are used..........etc......

I have several folks in town that are the same way. We have a few around that buy all brand new nicest kit.
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Old 08-19-21, 11:01 AM
  #45  
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I like the model. But, methinx any self-evaluation is invalid. I turn to the King of Suffer-in-style, Billy Crystal's Fernando. "It is better to look good than to feel good."
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Old 08-19-21, 11:26 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
One huge misconception on poser status can also be folks who are thrifty. I often ride in summer now in a Castelli San Remo. I got tired of the bargain kit I had being loose and not wicking sweat and not being comfortable on the TT bike. I got a few of them, used. New they're over $200 each. Used, I got some in fine shape for like $40.
Same for my shoes. My Giro SLX's are expensive new. I bought both pairs I own where someone didn't like the fit and sold them used.
All my wheels are used..........etc......
I have several folks in town that are the same way. We have a few around that buy all brand new nicest kit.

I like your approach. When I take a close look at other riders. Some of the guys I have the most respect for are those who check the following boxes:

- They ride really well. (Talking about athletic condition) Might not be the strongest/fastest, but they can at least hold their own

- They are smooth, disciplined, predictable. Never erratic. (Now talking about bike handling)

- They ride and wear stuff that might be fairly recent/fashionable, but more often than not stuff that's five or ten years old, or even 20 years. The stuff shows good, honest wear, like it's been used a great deal, just not abused.
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Old 08-19-21, 11:26 AM
  #47  
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A new weapon in my style arsenal arrived this morning. Core jersey.


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Old 08-19-21, 11:31 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
A new weapon in my style arsenal arrived this morning. Core jersey.
Cool! I've got nothing against Rapha, in spite of the hatred lots of folks seem to have for RCC. I'd gladly wear their attire, if I could afford it. My budget is more oriented toward the Pearl Izumi clearance rack, or used items from any brand.
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Old 08-19-21, 11:36 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Cool! I've got nothing against Rapha, in spite of the hatred lots of folks seem to have for RCC. I'd gladly wear their attire, if I could afford it. My budget is more oriented toward the Pearl Izumi clearance rack, or used items from any brand.
I have not bought a jersey in a long time. In addition to getting them for free thanks to raising lots of money for a charity ride, I have gotten some as presents. The only other piece of Rapha I own is wool base layer that I primarily use for touring. Got the first one as a present, but it fell victim to carpet moths, so I bought a second. Love the way it feels.
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Old 08-19-21, 11:47 AM
  #50  
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I'm always a bit baffled by these posts and threads about snobby cyclists. I've ridden and raced in a bunch of states, with varied people, and have never noticed any snobbish behavior among cyclists. I think most people with much riding experience understand that capable cyclists come in all sorts of packages and ride all sorts of bikes. This guy set a world record yesterday on a purpose-built $30k+ bike, but a dozen years ago he destroyed me on a $500 fixie while wearing cutoffs and Keds.

Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Cool! I've got nothing against Rapha, in spite of the hatred lots of folks seem to have for RCC. I'd gladly wear their attire, if I could afford it. My budget is more oriented toward the Pearl Izumi clearance rack, or used items from any brand.
I have a drawer full of Rapha, most of purchased at their site's sale section for Pearl Izumi-level prices. I wear it because it's good stuff, and I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks of it. My wife works hard so that I can have nice things.
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